Yes, we’ve invited our boss to our conference, but he has a lot to say for himself. I mean, we too want to know if Aol, and by transitive property TechCrunch, is being sold to Yahoo, am I right?
Armstrong has been the Chairman and CEO of AOL since March 2009, and played a major role in the company’s push into content. Armstrong helped orchestrate AOL’s $315 million acquisition of The Huffington Post in 2011, as well as the 2010 acquisition of TechCrunch. He could also be considering or orchestrating a partnership/merger/whatever with Yahoo, though as we’ve pointed out already, it probably isn’t the best idea in the world.
Armstrong was one of the main seed investors in Patch, the hyper-local news service AOL acquired in June 2009. Because of his obvious conflict of interest, Armstrong recused himself from the negotiation process and, instead of profiting from the deal, asked to get his initial seed investment back in the form of AOL stock.
Outside of the content arena, AOL has made some significant investments in the video and ad tech space, most notably with the company’s $405 million acquisition of Adap.tv in 2013. AOL also acquired content personalization service Gravity in January 2014, and both marketing analytics company Convertro and advanced TV audience targeting platform PrecisionDemand in May 2014.
AOL has seen steady growth under Armstrong in recent years. In 2012, AOL posted its first revenue growth in eight years, and has seen revenues continue to grow in each quarter since. Yet, it has no coherent story about the future of its sundry businesses, and a lot of very disparate properties. How do you go from a dial-up company to a nimble new media property in this day and age? Beats me.
Prior to joining AOL, Armstrong presided over Google’s North and Latin American advertising sales and operations teams, which provided customers with local partnerships and centralized sales operations. Before that, he was the VP of sales and strategic partnerships for Snowball.com and was a Director of integrated sales and marketing at Starwave’s and Disney’s ABC/ESPN Internet Ventures.
We want answers to our burning Tim Armstrong questions, and so do you. Well, you can get them at Disrupt Europe 2014 at the Old Billingsgate in London. Tickets are still available but going quick, so buy them today to secure your spot. You can purchase your tickets here, and the full agenda for the conference has been posted to the event page. We’ll see you there.
Anthony Domanico contributed to this article.